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Performance Textile Fair Expands Exhibitors, Welcomes Tennis Buyers

The 4th annual Performance Textile Fair, which will run from Jan. 23 to 25 in Orlando, Fla., will welcome an expanded roster of exhibitors, and benefit from additional buzz with the launch of a new racquet industry event co-located with the PGA Merchandise Show.

The PGA Show, which has already been a main feeder for the Performance Textile Fair, will welcome the Racquet & Paddle Racquet Sports Conference this year. The addition of this new event promises to draw even more buyers interested in learning about and purchasing goods designed for the activewear crowd.

“The Performance Textile Fair has become a one-stop shop for some companies. Sales teams can sell in the PGA Show floor booth, while sourcing teams can spend their time in the Performance Textile Fair seeking new functional fabric sources or meeting with current suppliers,” according to Steve McCullough, spokesperson for Reed Exhibitions–Performance Textile Fair/Functional Fabric Fair. “Time has become such a valuable commodity that seeing this many customers in one place makes sense.”

And to meet the growing demand and provide all attendees with even more resources, the show this year will feature 20 more exhibitors for a total of 60 from all around the world. Suppliers will include companies such as Brrr and Polartec from the U.S.; Everest, Erictex and Fortune from the Taiwan; and Carvico of Italy.

Bob Moran, executive vice president of Sales and Merchandising, Inovatex, was energized by his experience exhibiting at the show. “We met with almost 60 people and over 45 companies!” he said.

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In terms of what to expect, McCullough anticipates the trend toward global sustainability will continue. “Every fabric and function has a story now,” he said, adding that performance no longer means sacrificing style. “The lines between fashion and function are blurred. Both are achievable now in the same garment.”

This confluence of fashion and function mean there is much to discover. To aid in that quest for the latest innovations, the Performance Textile Fair will again present the Material Science Center, a designated space with illuminated displays showcasing the newest fabric technologies. The interactive area allows attendees to touch, feel and learn about each product.

Michael Hinder, who formerly held the title of senior production manager at Bonobos, said the show met his needs on all fronts.

“I was introduced to some suppliers I had never met with or had heard of and there is good potential to do business with them. The technical presentations were great and there was a good mix of performance fabric suppliers,” Hinder said.

One of the best features of the fair is the support both attendees and exhibitors receive, McCullough said. “We are intimate with the capabilities of the exhibitors and collaboratively communicate with brands and brand managers. If we see or hear that a brand is looking for a specific item, we will facilitate that appointment,” he said.

This level of service is what separates the Performance Textile Fair from other events, according to Cassia McKay, account manager and marketing, Burlington Industries.

“Our biggest challenge in the past was not being able to get appointments with key designers and representatives from some of the brands that we’d like to be doing business with—the textile pavilion fixed that entire issue. The appointments that were set up for us were great and we had several people that stopped by the booth that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen,” she said.

To learn more about the Performance Textile Fair, visit the show site here.